ROBOYO X LEADING RESTAURANT CHAIN
HOW ONE OF AMERICA’S MOST BELOVED RESTAURANTS STREAMLINED ITS DATA REPORTING WITH INTELLIGENT AUTOMATION
Our client, a widely known restaurant group needed to streamline data reporting regarding alcohol purchases across their franchised restaurant locations and optimize its refunds-related processes.
With a global presence, the organization’s business processes must be effective and efficient to keep restaurant locations stocked and customers happy. These business processes generated high-volumes of data that needed to be processed through multiple systems – a perfect mission for Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
Our client: The client is a US-based seafood restaurant-chain. The company has over 700 locations worldwide, and in 2019 it got involved in working to protect and preserve our oceans by mitigating plastic and fishing gear waste. At the end of 2020, the organization generated over $2.5 billion in revenue.
The organization is estimated to yield savings of around 2,000 hours per year by automating the credit card adjustment process and 755 hours annually by automating the daily, weekly, and monthly alcohol purchasing reports, helping keep franchises stocked and functioning successfully. The project resulted in estimated savings of up to $83k per year.
Employee experience was optimized as staff were freed from tedious manual work and were able to spend more of their time on higher-value tasks.
End-to-end automation of the alcohol purchase reporting reduced human error to a minimum and ensured accurate supplies to every location.
Our client needed an automation partner to assess, implement, and maintain automation workflows that helped with data reporting regarding alcohol purchases and customer refunds. The goal was to minimize the amount of manual labor needed and the chance of human error, streamline data reporting and business processes, and help establish a Center of Excellence (CoE) to ensure the continuous scale of the automation program.
The company’s restaurants and vendors produced high volumes of data that needed to be extracted, compiled, and processed through multiple data systems to generate daily, weekly, monthly, and other required Accounting & Fiscal Calendar reports. These reports reconciled data from disparate sources that resulted in a highly manual and time-consuming task for the organization’s staff. The reporting process was highly volatile and prone to errors due to month-to-month variations on the number of franchises inside the chain, as well as differences in data formatting between vendors. This variation required the automation to be flexible and robust.
The processes inside the credit card transaction adjustments were time-consuming and problematic due to data inconsistencies. The amount of manual labor required to assemble the data before taking action was limiting analysts being able to act on the information prepared. The workflow’s high volume and complexity required additional full-time employees to maintain this process. Additionally, the process to issue credit card adjustments was problematic due to inconsistencies in the manager’s adjustment requests, causing additional work to research and identify critical data elements.
The first process that Roboyo and the organization targeted for automation was the reporting of alcohol purchases. We provided the organization with project leadership, guidance, and assisted with the development, deployment, and implementation of multiple flexible, end-to-end UiPath RPA solutions to support tracking of Alcohol Purchase Orders into a web-application named “Harmony by iControl”. The Daily solution extracts and gathers Alcohol Purchase Orders from their restaurants each day, processing over 180 items to create a daily report tracking Purchase Orders, ensuring supply to all restaurants, and identify any outstanding requests pending.
At the end of each Fiscal Week, the Weekly solution reconciles the organization’s data against each restaurant’s sales data and vendor’s systems’ data to ensure no disparities exist, all amounts are accounted for, and identify any un-fulfilled purchase orders or errors that need to-be remedied. A Fiscal Week Report is then created containing upwards of ~1,800 completed and reconciled Alcohol Purchase Order records.
Our Roboyo experts also assisted with establishing and optimizing the company’s Center of Excellence (CoE) and RPA framework, allowing their operation to scale as the automation program expands. Furthermore, we supplied their development team with foundational knowledge on best practices for RPA development, as well as starting points for code standards, re-usable components, framework overviews, and similar development and technical material.
The second automation developed focused on credit card transaction adjustments. This automation workflow aimed to automate enough work hours to offset the capital cost and establish an internal RPA resource team.
Roboyo redesigned the existing solution to correct the data. Using automation, requests were downloaded from the request portal and passed to the data warehouse to compare and include accurate and additional data points to process the adjustments automatically. We also determined that any request that did not return complete details was to be marked as an exception for a human staff member to analyze.
Once the robot returned the data from the data warehouse, it appended the data to the requests. Items that robots had already processed as an adjustment were exported to the accounting system for automatic journaling. Subsequently, the records that the system had not processed for adjustment were processed by the robots at the appropriate card site to issue a customer refund when a defined criterion is met. Furthermore, all adjustments made are updated in the request record and marked for exporting to the accounting system.
By having a robot download the requests, analyze the data with the data warehouse, and automate the accounting extract, employees were able to save up to 1-2 hours of manual labor every day. Additionally, by leveraging RPA to validate the data against the data warehouse and providing additional details, Roboyo helped improve employee efficiency so they were more productive at working out exceptions and adjustments that are not included in the automation scope.
Automating the primary site where over 65% of daily requests are received has saved the organization an additional estimated 4-6 hours of manual labor per weekday. Plus, all of this processing is performed off-hours, so once employees start work each day the exception data that the bot could not process is ready for them to manage.
The results can be summed up to an improved efficiency of the manual process which went from 1 day of manual work to 1 hour of bot work, eliminating 8 hours of manual work daily, saving up to 40 hours weekly. Employees were freed from tedious manual work and gained the ability to spend more of their time on higher value tasks.